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NSSO releases Employment and Unemployment situation in Cities and Towns of India
Oct 29, 2013

Data based on the eighth quinquennial survey on employment and unemployment conducted in the 66th round of NSS during July 2009 to June 2010 has been released by NSSO. The survey was spread over 7,402 villages and 5,252 urban blocks covering 1, 00,957 households (59,129 in rural areas and 41,828 in urban areas) and enumerating 4, 59,784 persons (2, 81,327 in rural areas and 1, 78,457 in urban areas). 

Method of calculation:

The NSSO has defined ‘work’ or ‘gainful activity’ as the activity pursued for pay, profit or family gain or in other words, the activity which adds value to the national product. Normally, it is an activity, which results in production of goods and services for exchange. However, all activities in ‘agricultural sector’ in which a part or whole of the agricultural production is used for own consumption and does not go for sale are also considered as gainful.

The unemployment rate in India is measured in three ways based on National Sample Survey (NSS) data: based on usual status (US), current weekly status (CWS) and current daily status (CDS). The unemployment rate based on usual status indicates the magnitude of the persons unemployed for a relatively longer period6and approximates to an indicator of the chronically unemployed. The weekly status includes both chronic and intermittent unemployment of workers categorized as usually employed, caused by seasonal fluctuations in the labour market. The daily status concept gives an average picture of unemployment on a day during the survey year. Unlike US and CWS which refer to unemployed persons, CDS refers to the person days unemployed. The NSS classifications of economic activity are based on the recommendations of Expert Committee on Unemployment Estimates (1970) setup by the Planning Commission. The estimates are generated separately for four quarters of year. These quarters are almost co-terminus with four ‘seasons’. This helps to study the seasonal pattern of employment and unemployment.

Some of the key findings are:

Unemployment rate rose sharply in Agra, Ludhiana and Meerut during the five year period ending 2009-10, although overall it has come down in cities and towns in the country. The unemployment rate in Agra rose from 0.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 5.5 per cent in 2009-10. The unemployment rate in Ludhiana increased to 6.3 per cent in 2009-10 from 1.2 per cent in 2004-05. The joblessness rate in Meerut surged to 3.9 per cent from 2.1 per cent in the same period.

Between 2004-05 and 2009-10 the proportion of usually employed males of age 15 years and above decreased by 3 percentage points for class 1 cities, 2 percentage points for size class 2 and 3 towns each. During this period, corresponding decrease for females was 3 percentage points in class 1 cities, 4 percentage points for size class 2 towns and 7 percentage points for size class 3 towns.

During the period 2009-10, the proportion of regular wage/salaried employees, in the usual status (ps+ss), both among males and among females was higher than that of self-employed persons or casual labourers in class 1 cities and size class 2 towns. For size class 3 towns, proportion of self-employed was higher than regular wage/salaried employees and casual labourers for both males and females.

The maximum unemployment per centage was witnessed in Patna and Kanpur at 13.2 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively in 2009-10.

The lowest rate of unemployment was recorded in Bhopal at 0.1 per cent followed by Surat at 0.6 per cent and Indore at 0.8 per cent in 2009-10.

The overall unemployment rate during five year period has come down from 3.8 to 2.8 per cent during the period under review.


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